This is a breakdown of the amazing hormone components of the placenta and why you may want to consume them postpartum!
Cortisol – Cortisol is a stress hormone and for that reason some would view cortisol as a negative, but it has positive benefits as well, especially in a new mama. Cortisol can reduce inflammation, control blood pressure, and allow a mother to be more alert and energetic.
CRH – This hormone actually contributes to the start of labor, and is the response to increased cortisol levels, it balances and complements cortisol. It helps with immunity by building white blood cells, and improves alertness as well.
Hemoglobin – Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen. Too little can cause major fatigue, low overall energy, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, trouble concentrating, nausea, leg cramps, insomnia and more. Low hemoglobin results in anemia. Iron boosts hemoglobin levels! Well over half of Americans are iron-deficient and suffer from some form of anemia.
Unfortunately, for these same people, they do not always consume enough bio-absorbable iron or respond to iron supplements in a way that is beneficial. The organ that their body produced and their blood circulated through, is guaranteed to be bio-absorbable!
Pharmaceutical iron supplements can be toxic and have a long list of side effects to come with them, that a new mother should not have to deal with. Plus, getting prescribed an iron supplement requires several blood pricks or blood draws, that a person with anemia will suffer through. The placenta also contains a natural source of Vitamin B which is essential to absorbing iron properly.
HPL/Prolactin – This is the hormone that is thought to be responsible for increasing milk supply when the placenta is consumed.
Prolactin is the hormone that is directly related to producing breastmilk! It rises in pregnancy to ensure that baby gets enough nutrients, by reducing a mamas insulin sensitivity. This gives ketones, free fatty acids and glucose to the baby to grow, grow, grow, and gives mamas nutrients postpartum to glow, thrive, and produce more milk!
Interferon – Interferons keep harmful bacteria from manifesting and hosting in and on the placenta, to protect baby and mom. This hormone can contribute to positive immune building postpartum. It is theorized to reduce and destroy cancer cells.
Oxytocin – The happiness, love, and bonding hormone, everyones favorite! This can contribute to a positive mood towards self, baby and everyone around. It can help encourage positive cramping postpartum to ensure everything is getting out smoothly, with no stagnant pieces or blood remaining, it promotes healthy sleep balance (energy and relaxation), it balances out the cortisol from the placenta and in the body already, therefore reducing stress, amplifies memories, promotes a healthy letdown, boosts libido, reduces drug cravings, triggers protective instincts, and increases a sense of altruism.
POEF – The Placental Opioid Enhancing Factor does exactly what it sounds like, enhances the natural opioids in the placenta! This leads to pain relief, so for mamas with stitching, painful postpartum cramps, painful breastfeeding, back pain from an epidural or spinal tap, and general aches and pains while adjusting postpartum, this can greatly serve them!
Prostaglandins – Prostaglandins are what soften and open up the cervix in preparation for, and during labor. Prostaglandins are naturally found in male semen. Prostaglandins are also a way of the body targeting infection or injury, so right after birth is a great time to get a boost in prostaglandins, while mamas are wanting to ward off infection and heal the body.
Progesterone – Progesterone is an essential hormone to sustain pregnancy, and have a healthy reproductive system in general. Progesterone stimulates the thyroid, reduces adrenal fatigue, boost energy, regulates sleep, reduces inflammation, nourishes the hair and skin, lightens heavy bleeding, builds immunity, encourages bone and muscle restoration and prevents cancer.
Pretty incredible right?!
If you want to have your placenta encapsulated, be sure to check out our HERBAL Professional Directory on this site to find a specialist near you.
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Dive in at herbal.teachable.com/p/placenta-course to get started on your certification!
Need some science on placenta encapsulation? We love science and research!
Feel free to take a peek at these books & links:
Life’s Vital Link by Y. W. Loke
Lotus Birth by Shivam Rachana
Pathology of The Human Placenta by Kurt Benirschke
Placenta: The Forgotten Chakra by Robin Lim
Placenta: The Gift of Life by Cornelia Enning
Placenta Wit: Mother Stories, Rituals & Research by Nane Jordan
Repurpose Your Placenta by Ruth Goldberg
The Evolution of The Human Placenta by Jay Schulkin
The Placenta: From Development To Disease by Helen Kay
Vascular Biology of The Placenta by Yuping Wang
http://www.uobabylon.edu.iq/eprints/publication_11_2240_496.pdf – Placenta & Umbilical Cord Structure & Function
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789467/ – How Nutrition Impacts The Fetus – Physiologically via Placenta
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6029139/ – Placenta & Fetal Heart Relation
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27324105 – Proof of Hormones/Nutrients lasting through Encapsulation
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29174274 – Hormone Concentration in Salivary Glands Post-Consumption